Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Discussion regarding the entirety of the franchise in a general (meta) sense, including such aspects as: production, trends, merchandise, fan culture, and more.

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Gaffer Tape
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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by Gaffer Tape » Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:58 pm

Zestanor wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:26 pm
Capsules are used on earth by humans for human purposes. Spaceships and time machines are used to visit other worlds. Isn’t that a huge difference? Perhaps if capsules had been used for more than storage I’d grant your point.
Maybe it's unfair of me to cherry pick one part of you post. However, it stood out to me so much that I felt compelled to respond to it. This statement leads me to believe that your definition of science fiction or science fiction trappings is limited to space or dimensional travel. Then again, you (albeit grudgingly) concede later on that Frankenstein (the novel, but not the film) could be considered science fiction, which it very much is. Shows like The Twilight Zone is very much science fiction despite often having stories not influenced by outer space. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a science fiction romance, where the only thing causing it to be science fiction is the fact that there exists technology that allows a rinky dink company to selectively target and erase customers' memories. Science Fiction is definitely not limited to technology that allows people to travel to other planets.
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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:28 pm

For those who don't know, Science Fiction basically means, well, fictional science. Technology that we just don't have yet. Hoi-Poi Capsules are a fantastic example of this, little pills that can store anything from rice cookers to cars to entire houses . At the time it was written the Dragon Radar was considered science-fiction too because while Radars existed, I don't think pinpointing exact radiation frequencies and putting them on a display like that was very common.

While martial arts and wuxia and ancient china are the backbone of Dragon Ball, science fiction is often used as a significant contrasting element that makes things very interesting. This same world has the Flying Nimbus and Hoi-Poi Capsules, the shrink watch and the Nyoi-bo, the Red Ribbon Army and the Demon Clan, and places like the Tenkaichi Budokai and West City. The Namek arc is when science fiction is more emphasized simply because it's in space, but when you look at it Namek as a setting isn't that futuristic, which once again contrasts the futuristic nature of the Frieza Froce (who themselves fight using martial arts).

I'd argue that GT's Black Star/Baby arc is more science fiction than Namek is, although that still is significantly rooted in the core tropes as soon as they step off the spaceship.

The argument that Star Wars is a fantasy story rather than science fiction is a clever one. Science Fiction is of course a BIG element of the world of Star Wars, but ultimately none of the story really relies that much on it, with the exception of Clones and the Death Stars. The story is much more about personal growth, and The Force is much more of a mystic, magical element that co-exists with this advanced world. The Jedi and the Sith are much closer to and are described as religions. The original film is BASICALLY a classic medieval bedtime story: A farmboy joins a wizard to travel to the big city after hitching a ride from a guy in a seedy tavern and then rescues the princess, later helping lay siege to the bad guy's big grey fortress.

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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by ABED » Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:26 pm

Genres tend to come with certain tropes and themes. Dragon Ball doesn't deal with the tropes associated with hard science fiction.
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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by Zestanor » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:55 pm

Gaffer Tape wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:58 pm
l

Maybe it's unfair of me to cherry pick one part of you post. However, it stood out to me so much that I felt compelled to respond to it. This statement leads me to believe that your definition of science fiction or science fiction trappings is limited to space or dimensional travel. Then again, you (albeit grudgingly) concede later on that Frankenstein (the novel, but not the film) could be considered science fiction, which it very much is. Shows like The Twilight Zone is very much science fiction despite often having stories not influenced by outer space. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a science fiction romance, where the only thing causing it to be science fiction is the fact that there exists technology that allows a rinky dink company to selectively target and erase customers' memories. Science Fiction is definitely not limited to technology that allows people to travel to other planets.
Yes and no. Inside science fiction I’ve broadly also been including space fantasy, which until now I hadn’t bothered to attempt to distinguish from sci-fi proper. I still say Raditz to Cell is science fiction, and the rest is not (sci-fi themes are minor before Raditz), but I recognize technically that Freeza is the space fantasy side, and Cell is the pure Frankenstein sci-fi side.

In my original quote I was demonstrating the huge gulf between the capsules and time machines and space ships.

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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by It_Is_Ayna_You_Flips » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:34 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:28 pm
The argument that Star Wars is a fantasy story rather than science fiction is a clever one. Science Fiction is of course a BIG element of the world of Star Wars, but ultimately none of the story really relies that much on it, with the exception of Clones and the Death Stars. The story is much more about personal growth, and The Force is much more of a mystic, magical element that co-exists with this advanced world. The Jedi and the Sith are much closer to and are described as religions. The original film is BASICALLY a classic medieval bedtime story: A farmboy joins a wizard to travel to the big city after hitching a ride from a guy in a seedy tavern and then rescues the princess, later helping lay siege to the bad guy's big grey fortress.
The problem, as far as I see it though I am pretty dumb, is that this same line reasoning applies to the majority of famous science fiction stories. For example, Forbidden Planet is a story about a wizard who stumbles across the ruins of a dead empire and starts mucking around with their ancient magic without realizing the danger. A soldier from civilization has to stop him before his hubris destroys him and his daughter. When you distill a science fiction story to just its most essential elements you get fantasy.
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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by Super Sonic » Mon Mar 02, 2020 10:49 pm

While I wouldn't call DBZ Sci-Fi, I would put it along fandoms that are liked along with sci-fi, superheroes, etc. For example, many folks would be happy to meet DBZ cast, as they would a member of the Enterprise crew. And pictures with either can get some envy by some folks' peers. Myself, met quite a few of the main DBZ cast members, first two season dub, Funimation, and 2/3 Japanese originals. (Technically 2, but if counting DB, might count Lunch as a main character for a time). Met 4 Enterprise crew members, and 6 crew members of the Enterprise-D, though only got pictures with 3 of the former, and 4 of the latter.

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Re: Is DBZ Sci-Fi?

Post by GigaDrill » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:47 pm

It's definitely a lot more "science fantasy" than something like Star Trek or one of Isaac Asimov's works, but I'd still put a Sci-Fi tag on it because of the prevalence of fictional technologies.

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